Thursday, November 3, 2016

Teaching Literature to 7th Graders: Technology Integration | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Teaching Literature to 7th Graders: Technology Integration | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Teaching Literature to 7th Graders: Technology Integration

Image result for classic literature graphic novels

Teaching 13 year-olds takes special talents and skills. Energetic, constantly moving around, jabbing, joshing, and dozens of other behaviors are natural for these boys and girls. Teaching a 45-minute lesson on John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, then, is no easy task. And that is what faces John DiCosmo this October morning when I observe this lesson. This particular class, the teacher calls “boisterous.”
DiCosmo, an experienced teacher who has taught nearly a decade and is in his second year at Terman Middle School* is in his mid-30s. He wears a brown sport coat over a checkered red and white shirt with a slate blue tie and dark slacks. He, too, is in constant motion as he works through a series of activities with his 25 students. An instructional aide is in the room who works with about a half-dozen special education students going through the different activities that DiCosmo has planned.
As students enter the large room and put their backpacks on tables, they go to bins in the back of the room and take copies of The Pearl and then go to a cart to grab a Macbook Laptop.  There is a word wall on one side and admonitions on the bulletin boards and walls.
dicosmo-furntables-in-dicosmo-room
word-wall
On the interactive white board (IWB), there is a “warm up” question that the teacher directs students’ attention toward: What would you do if you found a treasure of millions in cash free and clear. How would your life change?
The bell sounds and the period begins.
Students type in their answers and their answers appear on the IWB (no names attached to their answers). As DiCosmo scrolls through student responses—they are using the software called Padlet, he asks: “What’s the pattern here in the class’s answers? Students raise hands and some yell out. He calls on students. He jots down on the whiteboard what students see as patterns in their answers: buying lots of things; giving to charity.
Then the teacher asks: “Why are we asking this question?” Some students guess that the book will be about finding a treasure. After listening to student Teaching Literature to 7th Graders: Technology Integration | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

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